I had this disagreement with someone. I said that everything is 'b'chezkas' heter, and is mutar unless there is a source that assurs it. He said that everything is assur unless you find a source that its mutar.

Can you provide a source or proof one way or another?

(According to him, I would think that fruits like mangos or avacados should be assur to eat.)

edit - it seems that he was joking, but I'm still curious if there is a source in gemara or mefarshim about this. (One can argue that no source is needed, as it is logical, but like I said, I'm curious.)

  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/80945/11486
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 6:25
  • An interesting case study in this issue might be women saying the mourner's kaddish. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 19:54
  • 1
    mangos and avocados were explicitly permitted to Adam HaRishon - וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים הִנֵּה נָתַתִּי לָכֶם אֶת כָּל עֵשֶׂב זֹרֵעַ זֶרַע אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי כָל הָאָרֶץ וְאֶת כָּל הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ פְרִי עֵץ זֹרֵעַ זָרַע לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה
    – wfb
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 19:56

3 Answers 3


The Mishna in Yadayim 4:3 states that R. Yishmael asserted that R. Elazar ben Azaria must bring a proof to his position because whoever is stringent has to bring a proof:

א"ר ישמעאל אלעזר בן עזריה עליך ראיה ללמד שאתה מחמיר שכל המחמיר עליו ראיה ללמד

The Tiferes Yisrael there explains that anything for which we do not know a reason to prohibit is by default permitted, since the Torah does not delineate everything that is permitted but delineates things that are forbidden:

שכל דבר שלא נדע טעם לאסרו מותר הוא בלי טעם דלא הזכירה התורה דברים המותרים כולן רק דברים האסורין

R. Joseph Messas was asked if the rule that the stringent party must bring the proof is an accepted rule, and he responded by quoting the Tiferes Yisrael and saying that the implication is that this is true even for Biblical laws:

Otzar Hamichtavim Vol. III # 1,373

שאל כבודו במכתבו על מה דקי"ל בדברי סופרים כל המחמיר עליו להביא ראיה אם זה כלל מוסכם או לא

תשובה זה ודאי כלל מוסכם הוא ומסתבר שכל המוסיף באסורים עליו להביא ראיה וכמ"ש במס' ידים פ"ד משנה ג' א"ר ישמעאל לר"א בן עזריה עליך ראיה ללמד שאתה מחמיר שכל נמחמיר עליו ראיה ללמד ע"ש וכתב שם הגאון בעל תפארת ישראל וז"ל שכל המחמיר וכו' שכל דבר שלא נדע טעם לאסרו מותר הוא בלי טעם דלא הזכירה התורה דברים המותרים כלם רק דברים האסורים עכ"ל יעו"ש משמע מזה דאפי' בד"ת על נמחמיר להביא ראיה ויש לי אריכות בזה במקום אחר ושלום

  • Good source, but what would you say about מכאן שניתן רשות לרופא לרפאות?
    – b a
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 15:18
  • 1
    @ba Tosafos (B.K. 85a) writes that you would have thought that it is prohibited because it appears to be contradicting the decree of the King. Also, see the Gemara in Berachos 60a, and the Tur with Beis Yosef and Bach in Y.D. 366.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 15:48
  • I didn't check all those sources yet, but don't you think that that's a counterexample in any case? Healing isn't "explicitly prohibited" and the only thing forbidding it is logical reasoning. I guess that's the "ראיה" that the stringent party would have to bring, but it's interesting how the two concepts fit together
    – b a
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 16:07
  • @ba True, though the Bach quotes a pasuk in Divrei Hayamim that indicates that it's assur.
    – Alex
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 16:38
  • @Alex you've given some great answers to mine and others questions. I'm a fan :) . Can you please tell me a little about your background, I'm curious to know (there's no private messaging on this site so I thought I would ask in a comment). Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 3:02

Yes , tos gitin 2b says that it requires 2 witnesses to prohibit something versus one to permit- the question is that logically it should be the other way around!' The achronim answer that everything has a chezkas heter so to prohibit would require 2 versus to permit would only require one

  • "tos gitin 2b" Tosfos on Gittin 2b?
    – ezra
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 6:34
  • Do you know which acharonim?
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 6:41
  • One of the rosh Yeshivias, don't remember Rd hand, yes tosfos on gitin 2b
    – user16291
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 7:59
  • Please put in the divrei hamachil for that tosfos. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 14:16

Rashi to Yevamos 88a, s.v. ואמר ברי לי writes that the source that עד אחד נאמן באיסורין, a single witness is believed regarding prohibitions, is learned from the fact that one is permitted to eat other people's food.

The Torah never explicitly states that one is allowed to eat other people's food (and in fact some other Rishonim reject Rashi with the suggestion that if this were the only source, perhaps one would actually only be allowed to eat other people's food with two witnesses that it was kosher), and yet Rashi assumes that this is the basis for generalizing a halachic principal that one witness is trusted for prohibitions. Seemingly the fact that the Torah never prohibited it is strong enough evidence that it is permitted.

  • "The Torah never explicitly states that one is allowed to eat other people's food" - even if you're willing to interpret all cases of terumah+maaser, שארה...לא יגרע, and so on as a case where there are two witnesses, how can you get out of this one: everyone is allowed to eat kodshim kalim (and is required to eat the Pesach, Chagiga, etc.), only a Kohen can do the last three avodos, and only the person doing the avodah can tell you if he made it pigul or not.
    – Heshy
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 20:26
  • @Heshy Other Rishonim argue with Rashi and bring various pesukim, as you have done, to show that there are clear cases where you are allowed to eat, but Rashi's example is you can eat the food your family makes. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 21:28

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